CSE & Missing

Sexual Exploitation

“Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology”.

Child Sexual Exploitation – Definition and guidance for practitioners, local leaders and decision makers working to protect children from child sexual exploitation (DfE, February 2017)

Children and young people who are sexually exploited are the victims of child sexual abuse, and their needs require careful assessment.

Shropshire's Safeguarding Children Board has developed Child Sexual Exploitation Guidance for Practitioners and a Risk Assessment Tool that will help you to assess the level of risk to a child and make a referral, if appropriate.

Say Something if you See Something

Shropshire Safeguarding Children Board launched the Say Something if you See Something campaign in March 2015. Say Something if you See Something is a tried and tested campaign, which is endorsed by the National Working Group (NWG) and aimed at the commercial sector to raise awareness of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE). The campaign is expected to reach hotels, nightclubs, public transport including taxis, retail and leisure premises. SSCB also aims to raise awareness in local communities to enable the public to spot the signs of CSE and know how to report their concerns.

SSCB has created a Say Something if you See Something Communications Pack of resources for all partner agencies to use in their communications with professionals, parents/carers, children and young people, the commercial sector and local communities. SSCB is encouraging agencies to make use of this pack which can be found in the Relevant Documents section below.


Ofsted's Missing Children report in February 2013 (archived) stated that children represented approximately two thirds of the estimated 360,000 missing person incidents in 2009-2010.

Children in care are said to be three times more likely to go missing from their home than children who are not in care.

Many children who go missing stay with friends or family members, but there are some who do not have or don't access these support systems, or who are forced to stay in environments that are harmful to their safety and well-being, and so end up engaging in activities that may put them at risk.

Missing children are more vulnerable to physical and sexual abuse, criminality and homelessness. We know from high profile child sexual exploitation cases that persistent missing episodes may be an indicator of sexual exploitation.

The four LSCBs in the West Mercia area and West Mercia Police have developed a Joint Working Protocol for reporting Missing Children and Young People.

For further information see the relevant links and documents at the bottom of this page for further information.

Relevant Documents:

Relevant Links: